governor Greg Abbott and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke debated in the first and only debate ahead of the gubernatorial elections on
Friday. Gun control, understandably was the one of the chief themes in the debate.

According to the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, the Texas governor has done nothing to protect against school shootings following the Uvalde massacre. O’Rourke mentioned that gun violence is the leading cause of death among children and young adults and added that if he were to become governor he would ensure ‘war weapons’ don’t land up in the hands of 18-year-olds.

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Greg Abbott maintained school shootings are a result of mental illness and a legislation to raise the age of obtaining weapons is unlikely to aid in the process of ending gun violence. 

Beto O’Rourke was asked if he actually wanted to take away guns, after an old video of him showed him claiming exactly that. The Democrat was unwilling to take such a strong position during the debate. He said he wanted to take gun legislation forward. O’Rourke’s comments also included emotional responses about Uvalde victims and their families. 

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He said 35 families of Uvalde victims had travelled for over five hours to Edinburg in order to show support for gun control legislation. 

The O’Rourke-Abbott debate also focussed on issues such as immigration, education, abortion, power grid and property taxes. The one point on which both O’Rourke and Abbott agreed was that Operation Lone Star has failed. Operation Lone Star was the Texas Governor’s plan to counter immigration by manning the borders with National Guard service members and other law enforcement officials. 

On abortion, Abbott said both he and his wife have always been pro-life and reiterated Republican positions on the same. When he spoke of Plan B pills as opposed to abortion, the debate moderator and O’Rourke cornered him over the availability of emergency contraception in Texas. Abbott said it is incumbent on the governor of Texas to ensure that the pills are available.